Last week, a Redditor posted on the platform asking Lebanese teachers if they have seen any changes in schools since the start of the economic crisis.
A teacher answered with the following: “Some students have difficulties in doing basic stuff that they should’ve easily understood years ago. For example in a public school grade 11 class I observed, none of the students could answer the teacher’s question which was what is pi minus pi/3.”
“As a parent,” a Redditor said, “The sudden shift to online teaching and the low income made things worse. No motivation or any good news in the country is obvious everywhere. How do you expect the teachers to teach, especially having an income that gets poof the first few days of the month? Most teachers are struggling and in survival mode.”
More concerns shared by the teachers revealed the deep impact of the financial crisis on them as on the students and the education sector overall.
Some teachers have been even impacted in their mental ability to teach, whereas students suffer from little motivation and a state of low spirits at observing everything crumbling around them at a young age.
And there are the consequences of the alarming devaluation of the local currency on teachers who have been unable to cope with the hyperinflation.
Public school teachers, in particular, and university teaching contractors, are the most affected. They have launched strike after strike to demand higher wages, which are yet to be adjusted by the government.
Teachers are also confronted with daily struggles, like any other working people in Lebanon. Even those working online are trying hard to cope with the crippling power outages and the “huge” bills they have to pay each month.
Whereas students are now enduring the constant fear of an unclear future.
Many had to drop out of their private schools and enrolled in public schools, which has led them to be removed from their familiar environment, and others have abandoned their education altogether for jobs.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese government still does not plan to increase the teachers’ salaries, nor plan to help the students or parents to cope with the current crisis.
Last month, the United Nations expressed deep concerns regarding Lebanon’s education sector, as it is facing an emergency amid the economical collapse.
Maysoun Chehab of the UN Education and Culture body (UNESCO) told AFP that “we are now in an emergency. Education in Lebanon is in crisis because the country is living in crisis.”
“Schools do not have enough funds to operate as they should, teachers do not have sufficient salaries to live in prosperity, students do not have transportation means due to high fuel prices,” Chehab stressed, adding that, “this is all affecting the quality of education.”
According to Searching for Hope, a recent study by UNICEF, 4 out of 10 of the youth in Lebanon have reduced spending on education to be able to buy life necessities.
“The enrolment in educational institutions dropped from 60% in 2020-2021 to 43% in the current academic year,” said UNICEF.
Since 2019, the lives of the Lebanese people have turned upside down and have, since then, been steeping downhill, yet the ruling body and lawmakers are not providing any plan to ease the situation.